Recap: A’s @ River Cats Exhibition
The A’s went to Sacramento for an exhibition game with their Triple-A affiliate River Cats at Raley Field. It would be inexcusable if the A’s lost this game and thankfully they won in convincing fashion. The A’s offense looks great against Pacific Coast League competition, unfortunately for us we play in the American League these days. A’s won 9-0 in seven innings with the rain bringing the Triple-A crew some mercy.
- Tommy Milone, who is truly looking like the A’s third starter, started the game and was perfect through six innings of work. He struck out six River Cats in his appearance. Milone, didn’t have much trouble with Triple-A competition last year either, where at Syracuse he threw 148 1/3 innings of 3.22 ERA and 2.24 FIP baseball with an incredible 9.69 K/BB ratio that he exceeded tonight if only because mathematicians have yet to discover how to divide by zero. The lineup Milone mowed down was near equal parts guys with no MLB experience and guys with some (if not very much) time in the show including, Jeff Fiorentino, Chris Carter, Brandon Moss, Michael Taylor and Brandon Hicks.
- Milone was relieved by Andrew Carignan who seems poised to lose his grasp on one of the final bullpen spots available for Oakland as following his Opening Day loss, he had an inning of work against the River Cats, walking two while K’ing just one, though thankfully not surrendering any runs. Again, no appearance from Fautino De Los Santos which to be raises the specter that he may be injured, why haven’t we seen him? Why is Ryan Cook being named set up guy?
- The A’s lineup did well against the River Cats, who had Jarrod Parker make the start. Parker lasted just two innings, allowing six runs (just half earned), on two hits including a Coco Crisp home run, four walks, while notching two strikeouts. I am beginning to become concerned with the bases on balls from Parker. He struggled with his control in spring training eventually earning himself his demotion. I feel that to a degree walks are a very big bi-product of psychological issues as opposed to a lack of ability when they get to this sort of absurd level. Much is expected of Parker who was the centerpiece of a big trade with Arizona, and he has never struggled with control anything like has thus far this year as of late. Last year with Triple-A Reno, where a pitcher can be excused for being afraid to leave things out over the plate, he only had 3.8 BB/9 which while not great is nowhere near the wildness we have witnessed this spring.
- One good offensive note for the A’s was really Josh Donaldson who is accustomed to Triple-A pitching, but had a solid 2-for-2 day with a walk, with one of his two hits being a home run off of lefty Pedro Figueroa.
- The A’s struck out a ridiculous ten times in this game against their next-level lower counterparts. Seth Smith (o-for-3) and somewhat unsurprising Brandon Allen (o-for-2) led the way striking out twice apiece. Justin Souza led the way for River Cats pitchers being responsible for four strikeouts in his two innings, while Figueroa had two in his inning and Jim Miller had two in his inning and two-thirds to go with the two Parker got.
- Crisp started the game at DH, with Smith starting in left before moving to right to replace Josh Reddick. Collin Cowgill came in to replace Yoenis Cespedes in center and eventually Adam Rosales made his way into left. The more I see Rosales used in his non-traditional infield spots, he was used in Japan at first and now today in left, the more I think he actually makes this club. While I think Rosales has some potential, he isn’t after all far removed from a 1.6 WAR season that he managed in just 80 games, he also is less removed from a -1.0 WAR season and is eating a roster spot that could be filled potentially by a more useful piece.